This is not a project commonly undertaken by the average do-it-yourselfer. But then, my wife’s brother isn’t an average guy.
Last year my brother-in-law had this idea to throw a big family reunion from 26-31 December. For a family activity, we would all build a pier on his property in North Florida. That’s what we did. Well, we got a good start on it, anyway.
Ever watch a pile driver set pilings in your local waters? Pretty interesting process. They typically have a big barge with a crane and “hammer” that lifts the piles into place, then drops the hammer onto the piling, driving it into the bottom of the bay, river, lake. How in the world could you do this on your own?
We didn’t have a pile driver, but we did manage to sink 18 pilings into the bay. We drilled holes in the bay floor with a 14 foot long 3-inch pvc pipe connected to a 3-inch pump. We stood the pilings up with the assistance of a derrick mounted on the deck of an old 18-foot pontoon boat.
Granted, the stringers and decking aren’t installed yet (there are still 5 more pairs of pilings to install), but we’ve made a good start, and will continue working as time allows throughout the year.
Major kudos to my brother-in-law John for figuring all this out and saving tens of thousands of dollars by doing it himself, with a little help from family.
Oh yeah – we had a great reunion too!